Kennedy

Periodontal Disease and Pulpitis: The Link

Gum disease and pulpal infections are both unpleasant on their own, but did you know that they are linked? Many people don’t realize that one condition often leads to another, and that makes oral care even more important! We have all sorts of information about the connection between gum disease and pulpitis, so read on!

Periodontal Disease and Pulpitis The Link

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is the infection of the gum tissue, and is a more severe version of gingivitis. Plaque buildup hardens and forms tartar, or calculus, a substance that irritates the gums and can only be removed with the assistance of dental instruments. As gum disease progresses, tooth loss and jawbone deterioration is common.

What is pulpitis?

Pulpitis is the infection of the tooth’s pulp, which is made up of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Pulpal infection is typically caused by cavities that penetrate the enamel. It can also be caused by trauma that cuts off blood flow to the pulp tissue.

How are periodontal disease and pulpitis related?

The apical foramen is the opening at the apex, or tip, of the tooth root. Nerves and blood vessels pass through this hole and connect the pulp inside the tooth to the gum tissue. Because the pulp and the gum are so closely linked, periodontal disease can progress into pulpitis and vice versa.

What are my treatment options?

Periodontal Treatment

Scaling and root planning, also known as root debridement therapy, is a traditional gum disease treatment. Root debridement uses ultrasonic dental instruments to remove the tartar that causes gum disease. Unlike standard dental cleanings, which only remove surface plaque, root debridement therapy targets the tartar below the gum line in the pockets that form between the teeth and gums.

Laser periodontal therapy is a more advanced gum disease treatment. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that targets only the diseased gum and promotes natural healing, agitating the gum tissue so it reattaches itself to the jawbone. It provides faster results with less downtime, bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.

Endodontic Treatment

Root canal therapy (RCT) is the best treatment for pulpitis. It removes the diseased pulp from the root canals, and then uses a crown to stabilize the tooth. Extraction is an option for diseased teeth that root canal therapy can’t save.

One thing leads to another: a single dental issue could compromise your overall oral health. That’s why we offer state-of-the-art treatment options to keep all aspects of your oral hygiene on track. Give Davis Dental a call at Davis Dental Phone Number 530-753-2053 to find out more about our treatment methods!

There’s More to Cavities!

We’re all familiar with cavities – the anxiety before going to the dentist, the satisfaction of leaving without having to return for fillings. As routine as cavity treatment seems, tooth decay, or dental caries, is more complex than we often realize. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on tooth decay and how you can prevent it!

What is tooth decay?

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, is the bacterial destruction of the tooth’s enamel.

There's More to Cavities

What causes tooth decay?

Even with an effective dental care routine, bacteria in the mouth cause plaque to form on the teeth. When the bacteria in plaque react with food in your mouth, it produces acid that wears away at the enamel.

Stages and treatments:

There is a range of treatment methods for dental caries depending on the severity of the decay:

Fillings and restorations are the most common cavity treatments. We use inlays and onlays to treat tooth decay because they’re similar to traditional fillings but are more stable and longer lasting.
Crowns are necessary if the decay goes deep enough to make the tooth weak or unstable. These tooth-colored caps are secured to the tops of damaged teeth to strengthen them and restore them to normal function.
Root canal therapy (RCT) is needed when the cavity goes deep enough to infect the pulp in the tooth. Sometimes the damage is severe enough that root canal therapy is not effective, and if retreatment is unsuccessful an apicoectomy is performed. During an apicoectomy, the infected pulp tissue is removed through the tooth’s root. Then the root tip is cut off and replaced with biocompatible material.
• If the tooth is beyond saving through one of these previously mentioned methods, extraction is the way to go. Dental implants offer a sturdy, long-lasting solution to extracted teeth to restore your smile.

Give Davis Dental a call at Davis Dental Phone Number 530-753-2053 so you can achieve that bright, beautiful, healthy smile!

Laser Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal (gum) disease is no joke – it goes deeper than gum tissue, potentially causing tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. That’s why we want to make sure you get the care you need to regain natural, healthy gum tissue. We take full advantage of laser technology to give you the best results with the least discomfort. Keep reading to learn more about our revolutionary treatment methods!

Laser Periodontal Therapy

The goal

The goal of periodontal therapy is to stop gum disease at the root by tackling the source of infection. We target harmful bacteria that forms plaque and eventually calcifies to form tartar, or calculus, preventing it from irritating the gums. Our first priority is restoring your oral health, halting the progression of gum disease, but it is also our goal to reverse prior damage by reattaching infected gum tissue to the teeth.

Conventional treatment

Traditional periodontal therapy – known as “scaling and root planing” or “root debridement” – removes the bacteria that cause gum disease manually. This non-surgical procedure involves the use of hand-held ultrasonic instruments to eliminate plaque buildup that forms inflamed pockets between the teeth and gums.

Laser therapy

Laser periodontal therapy can be used independently or to supplement conventional periodontal treatment. We use the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) method, which targets only infected gum tissue, for high quality results. Because it doesn’t require a scalpel or sutures, LANAP is less painful and less invasive than root debridement.

After removing the infected pockets, we expertly agitate healthy gum tissue to promote natural re-growth. Our treatment pairs with the body’s ability to regenerate gum tissue – the gums naturally reattach to the teeth and bone, making it harder for gum disease to come back once it’s been treated!

Benefits of laser therapy

  • Minimized post-operative pain, swelling and discomfort
  • Minimal bleeding
  • No incisions
  • No need for stitches
  • Shorter healing time
  • Cost efficient
  • Long-lasting results

Ask Davis Dental about your options for treating gum disease! We’re here to restore your oral health for the long run.

Get Checked, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Being that we are entering April, now is the time to be proactive and get yourself checked for oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 48,330 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer, and an estimated 9,570 people will die from oral cancer in 2016. In the spirit of April’s Oral Cancer Awareness, we urge you to receive regular oral cancer examinations. Remember—early detection saves lives!

Are you at risk?
The sad truth is that oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women, and the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. It is more important than ever for young adults, as well as older men and women, to get regular screenings whether they think they’re at risk or not.

Get Checked

Knowing the risks can help you make educated decisions about your health. There are several risks that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:
• Smoking and using tobacco products have been a known long-term historic causes of oral cancer.
• Heavy alcohol usage also makes you more susceptible to develop oral cancer.
• The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms?
The mouth is one of the body’s most crucial early warning signs in the fight against oral cancer. In between regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of the mouth’s signs and symptoms. Remember, if you see any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment at the office if you don’t see improvement within two-three weeks:
• Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice.
• The development of white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth.
• Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas.
• Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue.
• A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth.
• Dramatic weight loss.
• Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck.
• Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.

Don’t wait any longer. In the spirit of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, be proactive about your oral health, and get checked today!

Dental Implants: High Tech Teeth

What are dental implants? Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a foundation for both fixed and removable replacement teeth. Like roots, dental implants are secured within the jawbone and not visible once surgically placed. Teeth replacement is not new to dental technology. Early civilizations practiced teeth replacements; archaeologists have discovered skulls where teeth have been replaced by cast iron and sea shells. Despite their primitive methods, some of these implants were fused with bone like modern dental implants! However, unlike the ancient cast iron or sea shell implants, modern implants are composed of titanium. Titanium is lightweight, strong, and biocompatible.

Dental Implants-High Tech Teeth

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device — 98%. Dental implants are available in several designs that meet individual needs: single tooth replacement, multiple tooth replacement, implant supported prosthesis (removable), and an implant stabilized denture. Aside from meeting individual needs, there are a few other advantages to having dental implants:

  1. Improved appearance. Dental implants are designed to fuse with bone, and look and feel like your natural teeth.
  2. Improved comfort. Because dental implants become an extension of your natural mouth, implants remove the discomfort associated with removable dentures.
  3. Easier eating. Dental implants act as your natural teeth, allowing you to eat without the pain and discomfort that often accompany slipping of dentures.
  4. Improved self-esteem. Dental implants give your best natural smiling, helping build self-confidence!
  5. Improved oral health. Dental implants are the only proven way to prevent bone loss after the loss of natural teeth. The jawbone needs consistent chewing action to stimulate continual bone growth. Tooth/teeth replacement with dental implants offers a solution to prevent bone loss.
  6. With proper care, consistent brushing, flossing and routine dental visits, dental implants can last 40-years to life.

If you are interested in dental implants, or have any questions regarding the procedure, call Davis Dental at Davis Dental Phone Number 530-753-2053 today!

No Teeth? No Problem!

Are missing teeth causing you difficulty, discomfort or embarrassment? Don’t worry – we have all the facts about tooth replacement treatments and the effectiveness of dental implants as a long-term solution for missing teeth.

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are replacement teeth made of titanium. They are composed of an artificial crown attached to a screw that is surgically implanted into the jaw for stability. Implants are an effective treatment for missing teeth because they maintain the strength of the jaw.
There are a few alternative treatment options, some more lasting than others:

No Teeth No Problem
Flippers are temporary, removable plastic teeth. They are attached to a retainer for easy removal. Flippers are one of the most cost efficient tooth replacement methods; however, they are the least durable alternatives to dental implants and are considered short-term solutions until a more lasting treatment can be performed.

Fixed bridges literally “bridge” gaps caused by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge consists of a false tooth, called a pontic, and two abutment teeth, which are crowns that anchor the bridge to the teeth on either side of the gap. Abutment teeth can be secured to both natural teeth and dental implants; however, anchoring them to natural teeth can cause damage.

Dentures are a common treatment for individuals missing all their teeth in one or both of their jaws. They are made of a removable frame that holds an entire set of teeth.

Removable partial dentures are removable frames that hold a partial set of teeth rather than a full set of teeth. This option is often considered for individuals who are missing some but not all of their teeth in one or both jaws.

Why choose dental implants?
Implants are the longest lasting treatment for missing teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last up to ten years or longer. Because they are surgically anchored into the jawbone, they function like natural teeth.

If you have any questions regarding dental implants, give Davis Dental a call at Davis Dental Phone Number 530-753-2053 today!

Order of Your Oral Hygiene Routine

You’re awake, congratulations! Now, you are standing in front of the bathroom mirror, you’ve been wanting to upgrade your oral hygiene routine but you’ve heard a lot of conflicting information. There are so many tools and what order should you do them in? We’re here to help! If you’ve ever wondered, “What comes first brushing or flossing?” Read on!

  • Oral Hygiene Routine BlogYou’ve probably heard us stress the importance of flossing at your appointments. Flossing is an incredibly important part of your mouth’s health. Flossing your teeth should take place one time per day. We recommend at night so that food does not rest in between your teeth while you sleep. Flossing before brushing is a lot like dusting before you vacuum. The particles will loosen with flossing and the brushing will sweep them away.
  • You may have guessed it: the second part of your oral hygiene regimen should be a 2-minute brushing. Dentists look at your mouth in terms of quadrants. Therefore, your mouth consists on four separate quadrants and to ensure proper use of your two minute brushing session, we recommend spending 30 seconds in each quadrant. This brushing routine should take place two times a day!
  • Brushing your teeth alone will not eliminate the majority of the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Cleaning your tongue is an easy addition to your routine and will benefit your mouth greatly. Take your toothbrush, apply a very small amount of toothpaste and brush your tongue in gentle, circular motions. You may opt for a tongue scraper instead, they can be purchased at most grocery stores.
  • The finishing touch for optimum oral health is mouthwash. Sip a small amount and swish for 30-40 seconds. Spit it out and you are done!

It may seem like a lengthy routine but it actually only totals about 4 minutes. If you value your oral health and want to spend less time in a dental chair, it will be worth your time, we promise!

Winter Oral Health Tips

Winter Oral Health TipsIf you get a runny nose this winter, you may be tempted to breathe through your mouth. While we know cold weather wreaks havoc on our lips (let’s just call it “Chapped-Lip Season” instead of winter), breathing through your mouth also triggers sensitivities and other oral health issues! Itchy skin and dry mouth are just two things that can irritate you this season however, here are some of tried-and-true methods to keep your mouth healthy all winter long.

Brush Up

Brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Aggressive brushing can cause more sensitivity! If you find that your teeth are feeling extra sensitive, use a desensitizing toothpaste. Rinsing with mouthwash daily and flossing your teeth will stimulate your gums so that they are less likely to recede in the cold months.

Drink Up

We know our bodies need at least eight glasses of water for optimal health, but did you know it’s important for oral health too? Drinking water rinses out your mouth and keeps it moist—keeping bacteria at bay. Moisture depletion can be maintained with proper hydration reducing the feeling of a dry mouth.

Bundle Up

Our teeth may be hard, but they are not immune to extreme cold! In fact, fluctuating in temperature too drastically can cause your teeth to expand and contract, this may cause hairline fractures in the surface. Limit your time in cold weather, and when that isn’t an option, trap heat near your face by wearing a scarf or mask when you have to brave the cold!

Porcelain Veneers for a Flawless Smile

Porcelain Veneers for a Flawless SmileYou may already love your smile – that’s great! But what if you’re not happy with some of the minor details? To perfect an already great smile, we may recommend veneers. Porcelain veneers are a great tool for correcting minor imperfections on the surface of teeth and spacing issues as well!

Here are some common questions we are asked regarding veneers:

Will they feel weird on my teeth?
You won’t feel a thing. Veneers are thinner than your fingernails, so you won’t even notice them in your mouth. They are far less intrusive than braces.

How long do they last?
A good, properly placed veneer can last from 10-20 years. And the better you take care of your veneers, the longer they’ll last. A great investment for an enhanced smile!

Will they ever fall off?
Veneers are attached to your tooth with a very strong bonding compound. It’s like superglue designed for teeth. They do not fall off and provide years of durable use.

Do veneers look like natural teeth?
Porcelain is the perfect material to copy tooth enamel, as it incorporates luster, shine and translucence to look just like your natural teeth. People will be complementing on your great smile for years to come.

What if the surrounding teeth are a different color?
Generally we recommend a whiter shade for the veneer and offer tooth whitening in conjunction with the veneer to give you a perfect match throughout your mouth.

Do veneers stain?
Porcelain veneers do not stain, even over time. That’s one of the reasons that we use this material!

If you want to take your smile to the next level, ask us if veneers are a good option for you!

Gum Disease: Locating a Silent Adversary

Gum disease is often a silent disease. It can progress painlessly and in the later stages of the disease, you still may not notice the subtle signs that point to serious problems. That means that gum disease can creep up on you from the shadows. Don’t allow this to happen! A simple check-up in our office can detect signs of gum disease, allowing us to help you develop a plan to stop it in its tracks. Halting the progression of this disease is very important. If it is allowed to progress, the procedures we must use to stop it becomes more invasive, leading to more expense and pain down the road.

Give us a call if you notice any of these gum disease indicators or if it has been a while since you had your gums examined:

  • Bleeding gums during/after tooth brushing or flossing. Unless you’re brushing extremely hard (bad for your enamel) you shouldn’t be bleeding from your gums. We can help you determine if the blood that you notice in the sink is connected to gum disease.
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums. Changes in the appearance of gum tissue or sensitive gums are also common symptoms of gum disease. Some patients may even have receding gums.
  • Persistent bad breath. Your bad breath may not just be because of the coffee you had this morning. Bad flossing habits can lead to plaque collecting in the area between teeth making them especially prone to gum inflammation. Another symptom similar to this is a bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away.
  • Loose or shifting teeth. Some people with periodontal disease may experience movement or migration of their teeth. The rate of movement will depend on the particular type of gum disease you have. This can make major changes to the way your teeth fit together and your smile overall. Help us to catch this symptom early!

Depending on the type of gum disease, some of the available treatment options include:

  • Removal of plaque and calculus through scaling.
  • Medication.
  • Surgery in order to stop or minimize the progression.

If you are concerned that you may have gum disease, contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about the disease. Call us today!